tv 60 Minutes CBS June 20, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
captioning funded by cbs and ford-- built for the road ahead. >> pelley: what happened at pelindaba is the kind of thing that keeps presidents awake at night. it was the scene of the boldest raid ever attempted on a site holding bomb-grade uranium. >> these people cut through a 10,000-bolt security fence. they went straight to the emergency control center of the site. these people knew what they were doing. >> this is the scene of the crime. >> safer: he gave us a tour of bernie madoff's 19th floor offices, an impressive landscape of emptiness.
>> his desk was here. >> safer: he has the thankless task of finding the money, the billions that madoff scammed. it may surprise you to learn some of it will come from some of the victims themselves, and millions more from his opulent assets. >> your eyes are drawn directly to the chandelier, which is probably worth a pretty penny. >> kroft: when michael jackson died, he had nearly a half a billion dollars in debt. since then, it's been a very good year for his career. and this is not unusual. decades after their demise, some departed stars draw more income than they ever made while they were drawing breath. there is a growing legion of agents and managers willing to represent them. >> we're a business agent for about 250 entertainment, sports, music and historical clients. but most of those are deceased. >> dead. >> dead. >> they're working stiffs. >> i guess you could say that.
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>> pelley: when president obama invited 47 world leaders to washington for a nuclear security summit in april, the assault on pelindaba was exactly the kind of scenario they were working to prevent. it was a daring break-in at a heavily guarded nuclear plant that holds enough weapons-grade uranium to build a dozen atomic bombs. the story was little known until we first reported it a year and a half ago, through the eyes of the one man who stopped the plot. as you're about to see, what happened at pelindaba is the kind of thing that keeps presidents and prime ministers awake at night. pelindaba is nestled in the african bush, not far from the capital of south africa.
this is where the former apartheid regime secretly built nuclear weapons. in the 1990s, south africa chose to disarm. the bombs were dismantled. but the highly enriched uranium, known as h.e.u.-- the fuel for the bombs-- is still here. south africa assures the world that pelindaba is a fortress. but on the night of november 7, it was the scene of the boldest raid ever attempted on a site holding bomb-grade uranium. >> anton gerber: it happened just after 1:00 at night. we heard a sound inside the building. >> pelley: anton gerber has worked at pelindaba for 30 years. he's chief of the plant's emergency control center. he was in the control room when masked men broke in. >> gerber: there's a crack in the door. and i looked through this, and i saw this four armed gunmen entering the passages is coming straight to us in the control room. >> pelley: you could see that they were carrying handguns? >> gerber: yeah. >> pelley: all four of them? >> gerber: all four of them.
>> pelley: the men had breached a 10,000-volt fence, passed security cameras, and walked three-quarters of a mile to the control room that monitors alarms and responds to emergencies. gerber called the security office, just three minutes away. >> gerber: i immediately said to them they must come and help us. "we're under attack. there's four armed men inside our building." the first guy who stepped into the office, he said to me, "why do you phone?" he was shouting at me, "why do you phone? why do you phone?" >> pelley: in english? >> gerber: yeah, in english. and i was still so surprised, you know. my first words to them-- "is this a joke?" >> pelley: the only other employee in the control room was ria meiring. >> ria meiring: and he grabbed me at my hair and pull me out. and he put a gun to my head while the other three guys were fighting with anton. >> pelley: but the attack on the control room was just the start. a second group of gunmen, on the other side of the plant, was cutting through the fence and opened fire on a guard.
you think they were after the h.e.u.? >> matthew bunn: that's certainly the most valuable single thing that's at that site. >> pelley: matthew bunn, of harvard's kennedy school of government, has studied the attack, and has written a classified report for the government on atomic security. bunn says highly enriched uranium is extremely difficult to make, and would be worth millions of dollars on the black market. and if terrorists get a hold of it, it would not be hard to build a crude atomic bomb. >> bunn: making a nuclear bomb with highly enriched uranium basically involves slamming two pieces together at high speed. that's really all there is to it. >> pelley: how much highly enriched uranium would a terrorist group need to build a weapon? >> bunn: just over a six pack's worth. >> pelley: what do you mean? >> bunn: the amount of highly enriched uranium metal would basically fit into the cans of a six pack. >> pelley: but isn't this highly radioactive? isn't it a problem handling this stuff? >> bunn: no, unfortunately not. highly enriched uranium is only very weakly radioactive.
you can handle it with your hands. >> pelley: pelindaba holds more than a thousand pounds of h.e.u., and it uses some of it to make medical products. south africa calls the plant a "national key point," a facility with the highest security. >> ari van der bilj: this is the first time that this has ever happened on site. >> pelley: ari van der bilj, the general manager, brought us to the place where the gunmen got through the electric fence. they picked a spot down here in the bottom of this ravine. it's far below the perimeter road, where the security guards would be traveling. the guards couldn't see them from up there. once they got to the fence, one of the men used plastic clips to raise the bottom of the fence just several inches above the ground. he spent about 20 minutes shimmying under the electrical wire, and once he was inside, he made straight for the box that controls the electricity, and shut the whole thing down. so the box has an alarm on it-- they disabled that. it has a communications cable to warn the security office-- they
cut that. and then, they shut the fence down. they knew what they were doing. >> van der bilj: they knew what they were doing, definitely. >> pelley: it was a fluke that the man who stopped the plot was in the control room at all. the attack came on the night of a plant holiday party. the employee who was supposed to be on duty is a paraplegic in a wheelchair, but he got drunk. meiring filled in at the last moment. gerber is her fiancée, and he decided to keep her company. that left him facing the intruders, who came at him with an iron bar. when you had four men with handguns break down the door, why did you decide to fight them? >> gerber: i don't know. for the first moment, i thought maybe i must just put hands in the air and said, "listen, what do you want?" but i think the moment they hit me with that piece of iron, it was all over. i start fighting. >> pelley: gerber says he
knocked two of them down and then turned to a third man. >> gerber: i grabbed him. but the moment before i can take this guy, he fired the shot, you know. and i was still fighting. i didn't know that there was... he shot me through the... through the chest. >> meiring: and after they shot him, it was terrible. they hit him over and over and over and over again. >> pelley: after they shot him? >> meiring: after they shot, while he was lying on the floor. >> pelley: gerber was seriously wounded, waiting for the security force. >> gerber: it shouldn't have taken more than three minutes to get there. >> pelley: and it took 24? >> gerber: that's correct. >> pelley: when you were kneeling there with a gun to your head, watching anton fighting with these men and, ultimately, being shot, were you wondering where the security people were? >> meiring: the whole time. the whole time. >> pelley: after they shot gerber, they fled, and had plenty of time to get away. the second team of gunmen also vanished. and it seemed that south african
officials wanted to make our questions disappear, as well. after the first team got in, what was happening with the second team? >> van der bilj: you are talking about teams, as if they are related. we don't think they are related. >> pelley: you had two groups of armed men on your fence line at roughly the same time, and you're not sure they're related? >> van der bilj: we're not sure they're related. >> rob adam: if these were sophisticated terrorists, anton gerber wouldn't be alive to tell his tale today. >> pelley: rob adam is the c.e.o. of the nuclear energy corporation of south africa. he runs pelindaba. >> adam: i think that it was a piece of random criminality, frankly, having looked at it. >> pelley: "random criminality." what do you mean by that? >> adam: well, i don't think that there was any concerted attack of a nuclear nature. you had one technically sophisticated individual with some friends. >> pelley: and they were after what? >> adam: i don't know. >> pelley: what does the south african government have to say? we asked ambassador abdul minty,
one of south africa's top officials on nuclear policy. >> abdul minty: so far, the evidence we have is that it was an attempt at burglary. people went to the one facility and tried to take, for example, a... a notebook computer, which they left behind, subsequently. >> pelley: you're not saying that the intrusion at pelindaba was designed to take a laptop computer. >> minty: no, no. i'm saying it was probably a burglary attempt, from what evidence we have. >> pelley: mr. ambassador, the point is, what's valuable at pelindaba? and the answer is the radiological materials. nobody would break into a national key point in south africa to steal office machines. >> minty: no, you know, the pelindaba facility is off a main road. there's a lot of traffic on that road. so, if they felt that here is a facility that has gates, that has security, maybe there's something valuable. >> pelley: are you saying they attacked the plant, not knowing what it was? >> minty: no, i'm saying no one knows what the motivation is. so, we have to keep to the facts
and the truth. >> pelley: the facts that we know were recorded-- a camera at the fence taped the intruders, but guards who were supposed to be watching the monitors didn't report the men. a phone log that we've seen shows that 24 minutes passed between anton gerber's call for help and the arrival of security. gerber suspects someone in security was in on the plot. and he's suing pelindaba. how long did it take security to arrive after that telephone call? >> adam: i understand it took a couple of minutes for them to arrive. >> pelley: a couple of minutes. >> adam: yeah. >> pelley: two minutes. >> adam: i was... i... i haven't got an exact figure. >> pelley: there's a lawsuit in this case, you may be aware of, that's been filed, that suggests that it was 24 minutes before the security arrived after that telephone call. >> adam: i'm aware of the allegation. we'll respond to it when we need to in court. >> pelley: you've done an investigation. you're in charge of the plant.
did it take 24 minutes for them to get there? >> adam: it took, in our calculation, somewhat less than that. >> pelley: you initially said two minutes. now, we're talking 24 minutes... >> adam: i said a couple of minutes, but i... i understand from... from our analysis of the phone records that it took less than that. >> pelley: there's a gap here, between two and 24. can you help me narrow that gap a little bit? >> adam: i didn't come prepared with that figure, scott. >> pelley: the south africans keep telling us that this was, essentially, a third-rate burglary. >> bunn: nonsense. these people cut through a 10,000-volt security fence. they disabled sophisticated electronic intrusion detectors. they went straight to the emergency control center of the site. these people knew what kind of site they were in and knew what they were doing. >> pelley: you know, the unknown that seems to me the most worrying is why these people had so much confidence that they could take that place down. >> bunn: it does suggest that they had someone inside who was going to help them make sure
that the security alarms didn't go off, and that security forces didn't respond in time. >> pelley: to get to the uranium would have required penetrating more layers of security-- fences, cameras and locks. all we can be sure of is that the gunmen had no trouble with the first fence, and didn't seem worried about the obvious camera there. do you have any concern that these men had inside help? >> adam: that did cross our minds. and we put out a reward. we haven't had any takers, to this point. >> pelley: there have been multiple investigations, but we were surprised to find out that the police didn't talk to their prime eyewitness until we showed up. they didn't talk to you for ten months? >> gerber: nothing. >> pelley: you're the only eyewitness, you and ria, correct? >> gerber: that is correct, yeah. >> pelley: doesn't seem like they wanted to hear your story. >> gerber: yeah, that is... it is strange for me as well. >> pelley: the u.s. government is worried. it's offering to help secure pelindaba and convert its highly
enriched uranium into a form that won't explode. ambassador abdul minty, south africa's nuclear policy advisor, gave us his government's answer. >> minty: why should we get rid of it when others don't? why are we less secure than others? >> pelley: because these men got so far into the plant. they got into the emergency control center. they shot a man. there was a second team waiting outside that got... >> minty: no. >> pelley: ... into a gunfight with your security people. >> minty: no, no. it's how you interpret events. we are, of course, concerned about it that anyone gets into it, but we have taken steps to try and prevent that in future. >> pelley: the two camera operators who missed the gunmen were fired. but the investigation is stalled, leaving no clue as to who was behind the assault on pelindaba or whether their intent was to supply uranium for a nuclear bomb. cbs money watch update sponsored by spirava handy harrell.
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>> safer: the mastermind of the ponzi scheme of all ponzi schemes, bernie madoff, may be gone, serving his 150-year sentence, but he is hardly forgotten. his untidy little business that bilked thousands of people out of billions of dollars is no more, but the big question of "where did all the money go?" remains unanswered. as we first reported last september, irving picard, the court appointed trustee-- the liquidator-- is the man assigned to find that money and return as
much as possible to madoff's investors. it is a daunting and thankless task. for while he is suing whoever he can on behalf of the victims, he's also suing many of the victims, those who he says benefited and should have known they were investing in a house of cards. tonight, picard and his chief counsel, david sheehan, give us another look at the legal battle. just before the whole thing collapsed, bernard madoff sent out statements to his clients. how much were they told they were worth? >> irving picard: about $64.8 billion. >> safer: so the statements were total lies? >> david sheehan: yes, absolutely. >> mr. madoff! >> safer: the $64.8 billion that investors thought they had was just an illusion... >> don't push me. >> safer: ...designed by madoff to keep investors investing. then, the roof fell in. >> mr. madoff, what do you say to all those people who lost money? mr. madoff?
>> safer: mr. madoff has no say in the matter. if the victims want any money back, they'll have to go through mr. picard, the decider, and his bloodhound, mr. sheehan. how much real money do you think went into the whole scheme? >> sheehan: i'd say about $36 billion. and about 18 of it went out before the collapse, and 18 of it's just missing. and that $18 billion is what we're trying to get back. >> safer: so for the past 18 months, picard and his team have been on a global treasure hunt. the first step: liquidation. madoff's boats, his art, even his season tickets to the new york mets, plus bernie's various homes-- all sold or about to be sold, with a u.s. marshall as real estate pitchman. >> your eyes are drawn directly to the chandelier, which is probably worth a pretty penny. >> safer: they didn't exactly hide their wealth, did they? >> sheehan: they did have the house in palm beach. they had a place in montauk. they had to have, you know, an apartment here on park avenue in the city, all of which are the accoutrements of great wealth.
but it wasn't an extraordinary lifestyle. >> safer: how much does all that total? >> according to the government, it's over $50 million. >> safer: just a drop in an oversized bucket, nothing close to what investors lost. so, picard and his team continue to follow the money. they started here. so, this is the scene of the crime. madoff's new york offices, an impressive landscape of emptiness. >> picard: his desk was here. >> safer: and close by, perhaps a work of art that sums up the entire story. >> picard: it was called the "soft screw." and it was about four... i guess four to six feet high. and it was sitting right here. >> safer: and sitting on top of the world was madoff himself. >> sheehan: he was much like the wizard of oz, just hiding behind this wall. and no one could really penetrate it, but they sort of really liked the results. >> safer: as far as you've been able to find out, was he ever legitimate? >> sheehan: no, it was never
legitimate. and i think bernie, if he told the truth, which he's not capable of, he would then say, "yes, i started out as a crook and i ended up as a crook." >> safer: and a crook who looked after his family. picard's team unearthed records showing madoff's sons, mark and andrew, who ran a legitimate trading operation, and madoff's brother, peter, the chief compliance officer, took $80 million in compensation over the past seven years, plus millions more in personal expenses charged to the company-- private jet rentals, ski vacations, and country club dues. even ruth, madoff's wife, had a company credit card, and she charged millions, too, on everything from shopping sprees in paris to movie rentals-- all courtesy of bernard l. madoff securities, thank you very much. >> sheehan: they used the bank account at b.l.m.i.s. like a personal piggy bank. >> safer: of all the people that
should have known, his brother and his sons, who worked under the same roof with him, should have known. >> picard: one would think so. >> safer: did they know? >> sheehan: my belief is, yes, they knew. and the reason i believe that is they were officers of these companies, and directors, in certain instances, as well, and also compliance officers in a very highly regulated environment. so, i think, clearly, they would have to have known what was going on, given their own personal transactions, the longevity of what was happening, and the responsibilities as officers of the company. >> safer: madoff's sons and brother also had accounts with bernie, and their returns were simply spectacular. >> sheehan: there's sort of an extraordinary event with peter, his brother. after 1995, we only see him putting $14 in and he took out over $16 million. we have to take a hard look at that. >> safer: picard says mark and andrew madoff withdrew over $35
million from accounts that were opened with little or no original investment. if they turn out to be untouchable, criminally, do you intend to bankrupt them civilly? >> picard: whether or not they have a criminal problem, we will pursue them as far as we can pursue them. and if that leads to bankrupting them, then that's what will happen. >> safer: last october, picard and sheehan filed suit against madoff's sons, mark and andrew, his brother peter, and niece shana, accusing them of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty in their roles at the company. they are seeking the return of $198 million that was loaned or transferred to them. >> sheehan: when his brother took out money, or his sons took out money, they took customer money. >> safer: can you lay claim to the sons' real estate, for example? >> picard: i believe that we can.
the money that went to buy these houses, under the law, is called fraudulent transfers. >> safer: maybe, but the madoff sons are claiming they're still owed nearly $90 million by their father's bankrupt company. mark madoff and the other family members maintain their innocence and declined our request for an interview. >> i have no comment. i'm sorry, i can't help you. >> safer: but in a statement, the madoff sons say picard's allegations are "baseless" and that they had "no prior knowledge of bernard madoff's crimes." >> sheehan: if you were those sons, and you knew what you knew today about where all that money came from, wouldn't you be embarrassed to keep that money? they should give it all back. and if they don't give it all back, i think we have an obligation to go get it and take it all back. >> safer: and that includes mother madoff, ruth. though she has already agreed to forfeit about $80 million in assets, picard has sued to keep her on a very short leash.
at the moment, any time she spends over $100, she has to check in with you, correct? >> picard: she reports it to us at the end of the month. >> safer: and how is she living now? >> picard: she's living very modestly. >> sheehan: the most significant amount of money that ruth is currently spending is on lawyers. >> safer: there is an assumption in this case that there is this stash out there, whether in swiss banks or under the mattress. are you assuming there is? >> sheehan: yes, we are. >> safer: what kind of money we talking about? >> picard: we'd assume it's millions and millions of dollars. >> safer: millions and millions isn't nearly enough to cover the billions stolen by bernie madoff, but here's where the story takes an odd twist. most of the money for victims will not come from the madoff family, but from some of the victims themselves. most people assume that everyone lost money who dealt with madoff. not true? >> picard: we've found that there have been quite a few
people who have gotten out more than they put in. >> safer: in fact, about half of madoff's thousands of victims are what picard calls "net winners," people who took out more money than they ever invested with madoff. >> sheehan: we can tell that if morley put in $100 and he got out $200, he got $100 of somebody else's money. >> safer: so, the guy who's been happily taking $25,000 a year out over, say, ten years, he's not going to get a dime out of this? >> sheehan: no. >> picard: not if he took out more than he put in. >> safer: well, say he put in an initial $100,000. >> picard: then, he's already got more than he put in. he's been overpaid. >> safer: and are you going to try and get the difference? >> picard: perhaps. >> safer: and he's entitled, by law, to get that difference back. it goes by the nicely nasty name of a "clawback." if any investor took out more than they put in over the past six years, picard can legally demand it back to help victims who didn't take money out. for now, picard says madoff's
small-time winners are not his priority. he is focusing on the big winners, who claim to be innocent victims. >> sheehan: i think as everyone, you know, was participating in this and just feeding at this trough of greed, at the end of it, what they were looking for was it to continue. they were hoping it was never going to end. >> safer: so far, the trustee and his counsel have filed 15 lawsuits, seeking the return of nearly $15 billion from the biggest madoff investors. in addition, 233 clawback notices have gone out to madoff's friends and family who may have profited from the scheme. >> this is a human tragedy. >> safer: thousands of smaller investors who were living off what they believed were legitimate profits now fear that, on top of their lost nest egg, they may end up owing even more. >> i open my mailbox wondering if this will be the day when the letter arrives.
>> safer: sheehan is sympathetic, but... >> sheehan: at the end of the day, they were in a ponzi scheme, unfortunately for them. so all they get, at best, is what they put in. and to claim that they should be getting something other than that is to suggest that some other resource should exist. i'm talking about the taxpayers coming in and funding this. >> safer: so far, picard has found nearly $1.5 billion for the victims fund, and he's expecting to get several billion dollars more. but even then, victims will collect only a tiny fraction of what they lost. >> sheehan: we don't know how much is there. but it's going to be, not necessarily pennies on the dollar, but it's only, you know, a little bit more than that. we're not going to be able to repay everyone, not anything close to what they lost. >> safer: last february, bernie madoff's sons mark and andrew, his brother peter, and his niece shana all agreed to a freeze of
their assets pending the outcome of the trustee's lawsuit. they have asked the court to dismiss the case, claiming they too were deceived by bernie madoff. makcoespd i mt akhaestho ea br eai'thm inbr i c anso j ioi cn anth jeu . nn ou nc(aernn)ou a ncco wpdit,h cl ud ison,chitis, em phys emema,ph oysrem a, onews. ad n re gca vair hadelvapsir s higelnipse o va air iadom m osfrt omot mhe caus e beth a n boanthti a-in ni la'tce r st -a ctfa caus e beth a n boanthti a-in ni y ha vema ay hhaigvepncec reaspo orostsieosporosis a d so mean e pr meey do yctouorr idof ctyooru i f yoonondition or h ig h orbl hooigd h prbla adi' ym ougl ycaoume gl ad or h ig h orbl hooigd h prbla adi' ym ougl ycaoume gl ad
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and it's not that unusual. decades after their demise, some departed stars continue to work on new projects, and draw more income than they ever made while they were drawing breath. and there is a growing legion of agents and managers willing to represent them. as we first reported last september, dead celebrities can be just as lucrative as many live ones, and in some cases, a lot less trouble. >> mark roesler: i was known for going up and down hollywood boulevard. >> kroft: no other agent in the world represents more famous people than mark roesler. >> roesler: errol flynn-- of course, robin hood-- natalie wood. >> kroft: stroll down hollywood boulevard, he'll point out 62 of his clients who are immortalized with their own stars on the walk of fame. >> roesler: gloria swanson, marilyn monroe... >> kroft: his client list includes some of the biggest names of the 20th century-- actresses like ingrid bergman and bette davis, baseball legends babe ruth and lou gehrig, singers ella fitzgerald and billie holiday, who all have
one thing in common besides their greatness. >> roesler: we're a business agent for about 250 entertainment, sports, music and historical clients. but most of those are deceased. >> kroft: dead >> roesler: dead. >> kroft: they're working stiffs. >> roesler: i guess you could say that. >> kroft: you could call roesler's business a william morris agency for the departed, the c.a.a. of the d.o.a. it's called c.m.g., and it's headquartered far from the glitter of hollywood in an office park on the fringes of indianapolis, distinguished only for the orange wind sock for roesler's heli-pad and his green bentley. inside is a multi-tiered office lined with memorabilia from his departed clients. first stop, a suit worn by one of the blues brothers. >> roesler: i've represented the family of john belushi-- his widow, judy-- for almost 20 years. >> kroft: it is all tastefully done, and quiet as a morgue-- a shrine of sorts for legends whose time on earth has ended, but whose career still has a
pulse strong enough to produce a stream of revenue. it is part of their legacy now, and may be the ultimate show business compliment. they may be dead, but they still have an agent who's finding them work. what do you do for them? >> roesler: well, it's really not that much different than if they were alive. >> kroft: you can't book them for personal appearances. >> roesler: that's correct. we can't talk to them, we cant get their approval, but we'll get somebody's approval. >> kroft: his real clients are the heirs and estates of the dearly departed, who ultimately approve or reject the merchandising deals that c.m.g. puts together. >> roesler: this is our basement, where we have kind of the archives of the past 27 years of the company. a lot of the different samples. >> kroft: they range from low- end tchochkeys... >> roesler: trash cans to handbags to... >> kroft: ... to the mid-range items like marilyn merlot... >> roesler: rated as one of the best california merlots, year after year.
>> kroft: ...to the playfully prurient outfits inspired by the late pinup queen, betty page. they are marketed as halloween costumes, but roesler says they seem to sell all year round. >> roesler: this is the devil costume. >> kroft: is the whip included? >> roesler: the whip is included, yes. and the tail and the horns. >> kroft: the product endorsements run the gamut from paraphernalia to the pinnacle of post-mortem prestige. and roesler has licensed more than 200 deals with the u.s. postal service. >> roesler: here's the boxer, jack dempsey. of course, jessie owens. one of the early stamps with babe ruth. of course, jackie robinson, a big part of the baseball series. a very successful stamp with malcolm x. >> kroft: so, these are all clients? >> roesler: yes, these are all clients. >> kroft: the agency has created web sites for all its deceased clients, and maintains and revives their fan clubs. >> roesler: we get at least 15 million hits a day that come through this building for the different clients that we represent. >> kroft: it is all part of a
legal and entertainment niche that roesler pioneered more than 25 years ago after graduating from law school. where did that idea come from? >> roesler: i really thought it'd be nice to be an agent. but i really couldn't... being from indiana, i really couldn't represent anybody famous because everybody living would have already been represented. so, really, the only opportunity was to represent deceased people. and i happened to notice that deceased personalities didn't have really any protection. >> kroft: until roesler came along in the early '80s, a celebrity's right to control or profit from their good name was buried along with them. their heirs had virtually no say in how their loved one's image or persona was used, and no claim to any of the monies they generated. so, roesler set about trying to change that in courts and in state legislatures around the country... your first client. ...helping to establish what is now recognized as the postmortem right to publicity. the right to publicity-- i don't remember reading that in the
bill of rights. where does that come from? >> roesler: we have the right to prevent our name, our likeness, our image, our signature, our voice, from being used in some commercial fashion. >> kroft: now, in a number of states, that right passes on to the heirs, just like a house or a bag of old coins. and one of the first beneficiaries lived right down the road from roesler in fairmont, indiana. marcus winslow is the cousin of james dean, who died in a car accident in 1955 after making just three movies. is this it? but the image of this rebel without a cause has become a commercial icon. and 50 years after he crashed his porsche, james dean is still selling german cars and italian shoes. but when roesler first showed up at the family farm in 1982, dean's heirs had no idea how big their jimmy had become. until mark showed up, the estate had gotten no money at all from... >> marcus winslow: that's right. >> kroft: ...from james dean? >> winslow: i don't think he would approve of perfect
strangers making money off of his name and his likeness if his family didn't have something to say about it. >> kroft: so he's made a lot more money... >> winslow: oh, yes. >> kroft: ...since he died? >> winslow: oh, yes. no question. >> kroft: than he did while he was alive? >> winslow: oh, no, no question. oh, yes. >> kroft: he'd be... he'd be an old man now? >> winslow: yeah. he'd be 77 years old. but he'll never be any older than 24. >> kroft: that image is frozen in time now, and the success of dean's post-career career has helped turn the marketing of dead celebrities into an $800 million a year industry. and advances in technology are creating more and more opportunities for the deceased. personal appearances are still out of the question, but nearly anything else is becoming possible. all it takes is a virtual set like this one at cbs television city in hollywood, and some computer generated imagery, and you can revive long-dormant careers. >> lucy: hello? why don't you take one of your big hits and do it over for ricky? tailor it for him? "it happened one noche"?
( laughter ) >> kroft: i'm afraid not. >> lucy: well, it was just a thought. "the ricardos of wimpole street"? ( laughter ) >> kroft: sorry, lucy. the heirs of fred astaire were able to re-launch his career, selling electric brooms during halftime at a super bowl. >> ♪ if i can dream of a better life... ♪ >> kroft: and elvis was able to sing a duet with celine dion on "american idol." >> ♪ tell me why, oh, why ♪ oh, why? >> kroft: elvis, many think, is the perfect business model for the michael jackson estate. elvis is the all-time king of afterlife income, and still pulls in $50 million a year. but then, elvis is more than a dead celebrity. he is also a destination, at $28 a head. >> everybody ready to see graceland? >> all: yes! >> kroft: graceland and the rest
of the elvis realm is now controlled by billionaire entertainment entrepreneur robert sillerman. >> robert sillerman: and this modest, by today's standards, home is the second-most visited private residence in the united states. it's seen by 600,000 people a year. >> kroft: sillerman doesn't just represent elvis; he owns elvis. four years ago, he spent $100 million to buy 85% of the rights to the presley estate. >> sillerman: turned out to be a wonderful deal for us and for the family. >> elvis presley: ♪ love me tender... >> kroft: with everyone now getting their 15 minutes of fame on cable television and the web, sillerman doesn't think there will ever be another phenomenon quite like elvis, who has turned out to be relatively recession proof. some parts of his business are actually up. why do you think they're up? >> sillerman: well, i would love to say that it's because of our brilliant management. >> kroft: you just did. ( laughs ) >> sillerman: i said i would love to say it; i didn't say it was true. but the fact is that you can't manufacture the affection and
the appeal that elvis has. >> kroft: he's dead. >> sillerman: are you sure? >> kroft: if he is not dead, a lot of people have wasted money on flowers. then, there's more than 5,000 elvis-related products, and all those impersonators. >> sillerman: in 2002, the bbc did a report on occupations in the united states. and they said that, according to the i.r.s., that over 84,000 people said that being an elvis tribute artist, then called an elvis impersonator, was their principal occupation. >> kroft: sillerman is not the only billionaire in the dead celebrity business. the photo archive corbis, owned by bill gates, has branched out from photo and film rights to representing the deceased people who appear in them. the agency, called greenlight, was run until recently by martin cribbs. its eclectic clientele includes the wright brothers, opera star maria callas, and steve mcqueen, who has had a couple of break- out years selling mustangs and
watches. what is the brand? what does the image say? >> martin cribbs: i think that the image of steve mcqueen is really the anti-metrosexual. it's being sort of sophisticated and masculine without affectation. >> kroft: it's not clear whether the macho man would be happy modeling clothes for dolce & gabbana, but that decision now rests with his family. >> kroft: do you have a name for your deceased clients? >> cribbs: ( laughs ) "delebs." >> kroft: "delebs?" >> cribbs: "delebs," yes. >> kroft: as in "dead celebrities"? >> cribbs: correct. >> kroft: who's your biggest deleb? >> cribbs: albert einstein. he's our number-one man. >> kroft: bigger than marilyn monroe and james dean? >> cribbs: huge, huge. the biggest in the world. albert einstein was "time" magazine's person of the century. >> kroft: every 12-year-old in the world recognizes his picture and instantly equates it with genius. and einstein's beneficiary, the hebrew university of jerusalem,
has earned millions and millions of dollars from baby einstein videos and nike commercials featuring kobe bryant executing a genius move as the late princeton professor. the last time we saw martin cribbs, he was working up a campaign to resurrect the mildly scandalous career of hollywood siren mae west for a pitch to stationers and perfumers. unlike agents for the living, he was at peace knowing that he didn't have to worry about her next movie bombing, or his client getting sent off to rehab, or the headaches of having to deal personally with the notorious diva, maria callas. are there advantages to representing people who are dead? >> cribbs: absolutely. if you owned a cosmetics company and you have invested a million dollars in maria callas, i can guarantee you there's not going to be any wardrobe malfunctions or embarrassing photographs getting out of a limousine in front of la scala without any underwear on. so that's a huge advantage.
>> kroft: mark roesler's stable of departed stars has grown in the past few months. he's added, among others, eartha kitt, robert culp, and donald o'connor. robert sillerman is no longer running elvis' career. he has resigned as c.e.o. of his company, but he remains its, and he has resigned as c.e.o. of his company, but he remains its, and elvis,' so, doc...areholder. so, doctor... i've been thinking... no. you know how... no. so, doc, i've got this friend... [ male announcer ] talking to your doctor about erectile dysfunction isn't easy. actually, doc, there is something i want to talk to you about. [ male announcer ] but it's definitely a conversation worth having. twenty million men have had their viagra talk. when you're ready for yours, visit viagra.com for helpful conversation starters and to learn how viagra can help. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex.
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oil. sliming more miles of the gulf coast every day. and in washington big oil lobbyists were looking to slime our senators too. they tried to pressure jim webb and mark warner to vote for a big oil bailout worth 47 billion dollars. senators webb and warner had two words for big oil. no. way. they voted to hold oil companies accountable so they can't pollute and get away with it. senators webb and warner, keep standing up to big oil and fighting for america's clean energy future. >> stahl: now, a few minutes with andy rooney. >> rooney: the united states takes in more people than any other place in the world.
everybody still wants to come to america. those of us who were born americans know how lucky we are, i think. i'd hate to be on the outside now trying to get in. in 2008, a little over a million people became u.s. citizens. that's a lot, but a lot more people wanted to get in and didn't make it. it isn't easy now. to begin with, you have to fill out a ten-page application and pay $675 to the department of homeland security. they take your picture, fingerprint you, and interview you. they give you a reading and writing exam, and a test on american history. in 1996, i did a piece about immigration, and i wanted to compare the exam they gave then to the new one they're giving to anyone who applies now. you only have to answer six out of ten questions. here are some examples from the old test: "what are the colors of the american flag?" i don't think there's any green in it. "where is the white house?"
well, i know there are several white ones in the town i live in. "what are the two major political parties in the united states?" let me see. i don't think the answer is the communist or fascist party. here are some of the new test questions, though, which seem harder to me: "the federalist papers supported the passage of the u.s. constitution. name one of the writers." i'm not sure. was ernest hemingway alive then? "the house of representatives has how many voting members?" i don't know. "what territory did the united states buy from france in 1803?" gee, i don't know that either. new jersey? actually, of course, it was louisiana. you can only take the oath after you've passed this test, but my requirements for becoming a citizen would be easier. first, recite the pledge of allegiance. second, promise to pay your taxes. third, sing "the star-spangled banner." and fourth, name the winner of the last super bowl.
if you can't do all four, pack your bags and get out. >> stahl: i'm lesley stahl. we'll be back next week with >> stahl: i'm lesley stahl. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes.. i know who works differently than many other allergy medications. hoo? omnaris. [ men ] omnaris -- to the nose! [ man ] did you know nasal symptoms like congestion can be caused by allergic inflammation? omnaris relieves your symptoms by fighting inflammation. side effects may include headache, nosebleed, and sore throat. [ inhales deeply ] i told my allergy symptoms to take a hike. omnaris. ask your doctor. battling nasal allergy symptoms? omnaris combats the cause. get omnaris for $11 at omnaris.com. thanks martha -- triggered my stop loss orders... saved me a pantload. [ crying ] oh great. every time i fly. my ears! swallow! [ male announcer ] upgrade to first class investing technology... at e-trade. another heart attack could be lurking, waiting to strike.
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